The Benefits and Drawbacks of Tubeless Tires for Bikepacking

Bikepacking, a combination of biking and camping, is an adventure sport that requires careful consideration of gear and equipment. One crucial gear you shouldn't overlook is the tires. While traditional inner tube tires have been the norm for a while, tubeless tires are increasingly becoming popular among bikepackers. In this article, we'll explore the advantages and disadvantages of tubeless tires to help you decide whether they are worth considering for your next bikepacking adventure.

Benefits of Tubeless Tires for Bikepacking

Resistance to Punctures

Tubeless tires for bikepacking offer a lot of advantages. One of the most significant benefits is its puncture-resistant technology. Since there are no tubes involved, tubeless tires reduce the likelihood of punctures. Punctures can happen from thorns, nails, or sharp rocks on the trail. Additionally, tubeless tires are less likely to pinch flat, therefore keeping you worry-free on your bikepacking trip.

Enhanced Traction

Another great advantage of tubeless tires for bikepacking is increased traction. With tubeless tires, tire pressure can be adjusted lower than with standard inner tube tires, improving grip on challenging terrain. This is particularly useful when bikepacking with a lot of weight, uphill, or in muddy, wet conditions.

Lower Rolling Resistance

Tubeless tires also provide lower rolling resistance, meaning that you will be able to cycle smoother and faster. The lack of a tube reduces the tire's weight, and the sealant used further minimizes friction between the tire and rim. This reduction in friction leads to a smoother and faster riding experience.

Drawbacks of Tubeless Tires for Bikepacking

Higher Cost

One potential drawback of tubeless tires is the increased cost. Tubeless tires cost more than traditional inner tube tires, and converting your existing wheels can also be costly. However, considering the aforementioned benefits, many bikepackers find the investment worthwhile.

More Maintenance

Tubeless tires also require more maintenance than traditional tires. The sealant used in tubeless tires will eventually dry up, and you will need to add more to maintain its puncture-resistant capability. Additionally, removing and replacing a tubeless tire is more challenging than an inner tube tire.

Incompatibility with Some Wheels

Also, not all bike wheels are compatible with tubeless tires. You need specific bike wheels or a complete wheelset to operate with tubeless tires. This can make it challenging to switch to tubeless tires if you have a bike with a different type of wheels.


Tubeless tires for bikepacking may have their drawbacks, but their advantages far outweigh them. Resistance to punctures, enhanced traction, and lower rolling resistance, make tubeless tires a perfect choice for bikers embarking on challenging, long-distance bikepacking trips. The drawbacks of more maintenance and higher cost shouldn't deter you from making the switch, especially if you value smooth, fast, and stress-free cycling adventure.

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